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8 Ways To Keep Bears Away From Your Campsite


Black bears, brown bears, grizzlies – oh my!

The thought of a bear rummaging through your campsite at night or cozying up with you in your tent is a terrifying thought. Bears can be cunning, ruthless, plotting, and extremely dangerous.

And believe it or not, it’s not just grizzly bears that you need to watch out for. In fact, in some places in Alaska, they fear black bears even more as they’re known to stalk humans!

One thing is for certain: if you are camping, you need to do everything possible to keep bears away from your campsite.

Here are 8 ways to help:

Tip# 8 – Stringing Up Your Food

The idea is to keep your food and out of reach of any curious bears. The recommended method is to hang your food 10 to 12 feet up and four to six feet away from the tree’s trunk. Bears are able to climb after all.

Tip# 7 – Use an Odor Proof Bag

These odor proof bags from REI work great to trap and seal in scents and smells.

Tip# 6 – Don’t Overlook Scented Toiletries

Items like sunscreen, toothpaste, and lotion can carry scents that could potential attract bears or other critters to your camp ground. Seal them up or string them high.

Tip# 5 – Immediately Wash Utensils

After cooking, take a few minutes to thoroughly clean your utensils. Bears aren’t too proud to eat your leftover food! Even the smallest bit could attract the unwanted animals.

Tip# 4 – Change Your Clothes Before Sleeping

Odorous foods cling to clothing. After cooking dinner, change your clothes before going to bed and keep your discarded clothes at least 100 yards from your tent. Don’t assumed that just because you can’t smell yourself a bear can’t either.

Tip# 3 – Do Not Set Up Camp Near Rivers or Berry Bushes

If there’s two things bears love more than your bacon, it’s fish and berries. Salmon are a primary food source for grizzlies and berries go perfect for dessert. They love to hang around both of these food sources. Move your camp at least 100 yards from both rivers and berry bushes or you could be asking for trouble.

Tip# 2 – Follow The “Bear Triangle” Rule

Keep your tent 100 yards from your hanging food and 100 yards from your cooking site. Keep your cooking site and hanging food 100 yards apart. This creates a triangle! FYI – Your tent should always be upwind from your cooking site.

Tip# 1 – Stay In Groups

If you are camping with a group, set your tents up near each other. Bears are less likely to attack groups of people than individuals. Groups of people tend to make much more noise than a single person which can deter bears from your area all together.